Dear Son,

When mothers step back from the day-to-day grind of raising little people, they realize the true purpose is to mold them into excellent adults who will fulfill their future roles as employees, parents, and spouses properly. There are a number of very simple lessons which are pre-requisite for adulthood, that I have tried desperately to teach you, but simply have not stuck. Someday you will likely get married. Your wife is going to be just as exasperated with you as I have been, and I want to be able to prove to her that I did attempt to teach you how to properly live in a house. Even if you manage to find one that believes in traditional gender roles and is all house-wifey while you work long hours farming, there are things she will expect you to be able to handle in a non-five-year-old-like manner. Also, maybe seeing it all spelled out in black and white will help things finally sink in for you. So here, dear son, is a list of things you ought to earnestly work on now that you are eighteen, because they will definitely irritate your wife someday.

  1. Opening resealable packages on the opposite end. Seriously, I get you are a hungry growing teen, but just pay attention and look at the bag for about one more second and you will find it.
  2. Clawing into a sack of produce like a wild bear rather than simply removing the twist tie. Are you aware that the purpose of a sack is to contain items and once ripped it can no longer do that?
  3. Knocking four other towels out of the closet when you get one and just LEAVING THEM THERE! I know I have often stated that laundry is my least unfavorite household duty, but 35 towels in a week is overkill.
  4. The bizarre way you leave your pants when you take them off. Personally, I don’t even understand how one leg ends up right side out and the other inside out, but they can’t be washed that way, which means someone (me) has to stick their entire clean arm down your animal-poop-ridden pant leg to fix it. Just remove the second leg in the same manner you remove the first. It should not be difficult. Also, the wet balled-up socks. It’s gross. No one should feel the need to shower from simply throwing clothes in the washer.
  5. The empty hamper surrounded by dirty clothes on every inch of the floor. Odds would indicate at least a couple things would randomly land inside occasionally, so I can only assume you are intentionally missing the basket. 
  6. Wet, muddy, poopy, or oily clothes thrown into the regular laundry pile. We have a different location meant for particularly nasty clothes for a reason. That stuff can ruin other clothes. Clothes are expensive. Stop it!
  7. Putting clean clothes in the hamper. I don’t know if this is a desperate attempt to make me happier about #5 or what, but when something in there is folded, I can be quite sure you never wore it. And definitely when the hanger is still in the shirt!
  8. Removing shirts from hangers like a clumsy orangutan. Once again, clothes are expensive. Plus having holes around the necks of your shirts is less acceptable for grown-ups. And even though they are cheap, having to waste money on hangers because you break so many is just stupid.
  9. Stashing trash like a packrat. Eating popsicles in bed is weird enough, quit making it worse by throwing all the wrappers behind the bed, and no, behind the couch is not acceptable either.
  10. Leaving dishes EVERYWHERE! Teens are notorious for leaving dishes in their rooms, and I guess they generally grow out of it, so I should not be worried. However, the way you take it to the next level with half-eaten dinner plates left on the bathroom counter has me a touch concerned.
  11. Destroying the entire kitchen just to make a sandwich. Stop the nomadic sandwich making. Keep all your business in one small area of the counter, and heck, maybe even wipe up that area when you are done. No one is impressed by your ability to make your own sandwich when you are an adult like I was when you were six and the unimaginable mess was kind of endearing.
  12. The door slamming! The birth of a child is a difficult time for a woman. The first time you come through the door to your home after this event, you may not live to see another day if you don’t heed those explicit door-shutting lessons you’ve been given. Hold knob. Gradually, push door shut. 1Turn knob. Continue gently pushing door until shut. Release.

With Much Love and Irritation,

Your Mom

Crystal Foose

Crystal Foose became a mother only a month past her 18th birthday. Today she is the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a toddler, living out in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. She is a conservative and a Christian, but not the really nice kind who is good at it. She aims to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out over on her blog.